Military career of John Kerry

Military Career Of John Kerry

Military career of John Kerry

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John Kerry served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, during the period from 1966 to 1970. His last tour in Vietnam was four months as officer in charge of a Swift boat in 1969. Kerry received several combat medals during this tour, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Kerry's military record received considerable attention during his political career, especially during his unsuccessful 2004 bid for the presidency.

Commission, training, and tour of duty on the USS Gridley

On February 18, 1966, John Kerry enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He began his active duty military service on August 19, 1966. After completing sixteen weeks of Officer Candidate School at the U.S. Naval Training Center in Newport, Rhode Island, he received his commission on December 16, 1966.

On January 3, 1967, Kerry began a ten-week Officer Damage Control Course at the Naval Schools Command on Treasure Island, California. On March 22, 1967, he reported to the U.S. Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center for training as a Combat Information Center Watch Officer.

Kerry's first tour of duty was as an ensign on the guided missile frigate USS Gridley, beginning June 8, 1967 . On February 9, 1968, the Gridley set sail for a Western Pacific deployment. The next day, Kerry requested duty in Vietnam, listing as his first preference a position as the commander of a Fast Patrol Craft (PCF), also known as a "Swift boat." These 50-foot boats...
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